Divine Healing, Part I
"Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."1
A Daily Encounter reader asks: "I would really appreciate it if you could shed some light on an issue that I've been struggling with. What are your views regarding divine healing? I was reading Andrew Murray's book, Divine Healing, where he states that Christ Jesus died both for our physical and spiritual lives. He goes on to say that every sickness is inflicted by Satan (the devil). Hence, we, as sons of God, can find healing in Jesus."
Far be it from me to disagree with the above-mentioned distinguished author, but while Satan is a direct cause of some problems, he is not of all. Sometimes we blame the devil for far too many things (and give him too much "glory/attention"). I once gave a talk on the following subject: "The Devil Didn't Make Me Do It—I Can Foul Things Up All by Myself." True, Satan is the originator of all that is evil and bad, and while he is a powerful being, he is not omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), or omnipresent (all present). These are characteristics of no one but God.
We sin because we are sinners, not because the devil made us do it! We also get sick because we live in a broken, sick world. To blame Satan for every sin I commit, for every problem, and every sickness can be a handy excuse to hang on to if I don't want to accept reality and responsibility.
When it comes to sicknesses … some are caused by germs, infections, and viruses; by eating contaminated food or drinking germ-laden water; by not washing one's hands before eating; by being bitten by a mosquito, and so on. It is impossible to avoid some of the sicknesses caused by these things. However, by practicing healthy hygiene (and having loving relationships), we are able to avoid some, if not many, of them.
While I believe in divine healing, I also believe in living responsibly. Also, we sometimes get sick and open to infections and viruses because we don't get enough rest and exercise, or eat a well-balanced diet. So will God heal us when we act irresponsibly? I have my doubts and wouldn't plan on it.
Then, too, many of our diseases are DIS-EASES which are caused or greatly aggravated by things that are troubling us emotionally—such as unresolved, supercharged, repressed negative emotions of guilt, resentment, hatred, jealousy, worry, anxiety, an unforgiving spirit, and so on. Stress, too, is a "killer." And some ulcers, for example, are caused not by what we eat but by what is eating us as are many other ills.
I don't believe God will ever heal us from our symptoms if we fail to face and deal with the cause/s. If he did, he would be keeping us immature and irresponsible. This is why James says that if we are to find healing, we need to first confess our sins and faults—this includes dealing with and resolving any and all unresolved emotional issues, including deeply buried super-charged negative emotions which cause many and varied sicknesses.
Speaking personally, when I learned to admit and resolve my buried grief and anger, I was healed of distressing hay fever and bursitis. But I didn't resolve my grief and anger overnight. It wasn't a quick fix/healing, but rather a process of working through and resolving these deeply buried negative emotions. Only when I did, was I healed.
Brenda Clark Pike
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